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RTI Signs New Distributors, Including Volutone

Long-time partner AVAD will remain RTI's national distributor, but the manufacturer of universal remotes and controllers is adding regional distributors as well.


RTI controllers will continue to feature largely in AVAD branches, but the manufacturer has now opened up Volutone and will be announcing other regional distributors

Remote Technologies Inc. (RTI), provider of high-performance universal remotes and controllers, has expanded its distribution after years of exclusivity with AVAD.

Volutone, a regional distributor in Southern California, is the first to announce a partnership with RTI.

"Having the RTI line of two-way communication products at Volutone is awesome," says Steve Honig, Volutone director of marketing. "They offer in-depth technical training that our integrators are thirsty for as well as a powerful software system that is used to program all RTI products."

The move to expand distribution "in no way, shape or form is intended to reflect poorly on the great respect we have for AVAD as a partner and as a leading national distributor," says RTI VP of sales and marketing Pete Baker. "AVAD is a very valued partner of ours and we've experienced great success together."

Baker says that the decision to expand distribution is in part due to the tanking economy, in which "we are all forced to look at our plan, and fine-tune it to remain successful."

RTI is still in the process of evaluating distributors. At this point, Baker is not inclined to sign up another national distributor, preferring instead to let AVAD keep that title.

"It's important to make sure we're effectively reaching all of the dealers in the custom electronics channel who may not otherwise have access to the line," he says.

And while more integrators may theoretically have access to its products, RTI will become even more vigilant about maintaining its brand integrity.

Baker says, "RTI is proud that we have a very protected line, exclusive to professional integrators, and we intend to keep that intact, to continue our commitment to the custom channel."

He adds that RTI will be instituting dealer agreements to ensure that the company "is more in tune with dealers' qualifications and technical capabilities."

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Article Topics

News · Distributors · Universal Remotes · Universal Remote · Distributor · All topics

About the Author

Julie Jacobson, Co-Founder, EH Publishing / Editor-at-large, CE Pro
Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson. [More by Julie Jacobson]

5 Comments (displayed in order by date/time)

Posted by Orlando Ayala  on  04/25  at  03:45 PM

Sweet. One of our guys saw RTI in the list of products available at Volutone last week. We were hoping they would be adding it to their offerings. Can’t wait to give them a go.

Posted by avdgsite  on  04/25  at  06:38 PM

RTI is expanding to other distributors.

Posted by Adam Leichtman  on  04/28  at  11:16 AM

I hope that this doesn’t lead to a bunch of poorly programed systems and integrators stepping into an area that they are not familiar with.  I am tired of seeing systems designed by “CE Pros” with “custom programmed” remote controls which do not contain any logic or fail safes.  They are merely copies of the factory supplied remotes with a few poorly executed macros and a several unnecessary buttons.  I wish that RTI, URC, Crestron, AMX, Savant and others would require rigorous training and real certification in order to sell their products.  This easy to get product distribution model is giving those companies a bad name. It has the end user saying “I will never use ___ again it doesn’t work” When in reality it is the programmer, not the product.

Posted by Julie Jacobson  on  04/28  at  12:02 PM

Adam, there are plenty of well-trained, experienced CE Pros that do poor work, as well. Opening up distribution means opening it up to more GOOD CE Pros too. I don’t think the number of bad installs will rise disproportionately.

Posted by Adam Leichtman  on  04/28  at  02:30 PM

Yes that is true about the experienced pros doing sub-par work.  I guess here in southern california, since all of the distributors are so close to each other, the additional distribution company may not change things.  As long as the manufacturers don’t start distributing through electrical supply warehouses, car stereo distributors, and alarm distributors then we will be ok. Not to say that any of those specialties aren’t qualified- just do your homework before offering something to a client.

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